To most effectively serve communities in today’s information-driven world, local health departments (LHDs) must develop the capability to transform data into public health action (e.g., services, interventions, and policies). But forging that capability is no easy feat. There are a multitude of challenges that stand between local public health and informatics – the field specializing in the use of data to inform decisions that improve community health – including:
- Building informatics capabilities in smaller LHDs;
- Ensuring informed and consistent leadership; and,
- Establishing effective training.
“Public Health Informatics,” a new multi-article supplement in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (JPHMP), explores the above challenges and recommends ways to address such issues through advocacy, workforce development, and education and peer sharing. The supplement reinforces that there is a place for informatics within every LHD and outlines a vision for integrating informatics into local public health.
For more information about the supplement and the importance of informatics to public health practice, visit NACCHO's Healthy People, Healthy Places blog.